You do not need the same type of information all along the way when navigating a complex environment. This information model was made by our information designer Marco Berends to show different functions of signage used in airports. We use it when classifying the need for wayfinding information in various environments. The function of the information depends on the users’ objectives at different stages of their journey. Five functions can be distinguished:
Follow; users with the need to find specific destinations on the go. Passengers are in a hurry and needs clear and limited information to enable fast decision-making.
Find; users with the need to find information specifically for their journey. Passengers need clear and efficient information, to orient or reassure themselves (e.g. about a gate number)
Explore; users with a slow pace, dwelling or browsing. These passengers have time for using the airport’s facilities, or exploring what the airport has to offer.
Locate; users with a need for confirmation of a specific destination they are looking for.
Inspire; users looking for non-journey-related information about entertainment and positive distractions, like retail, advertising and third-party information meant to inspire and enrich.